Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thursday - featured site of the week

Well I have been a day behind all week because of Internet problems. It was down for two days at work and then I come home tonight and it was down here. We have several machines that actually control our network at home so it took me a while to figure out where the problem was. I am about it'ed out this week. Honestly I would just like something to work. I am unable to put my site of the week up today because honestly I wanted to explore a few sites before I chose one. Snce I have had internet issues I did not get to do that. But the point of this blog was for me to take a few moments to myself each day. So I am here on time today. I will say I have chosen the site and believe it or not it is google....why? That you will have to find out tomorrow. Google is not the same as as it used to be..I can't wait to share it with you tomorrow!

Wednesday - Whatever Wednesday

Personal photo, please do not lift

Kids do say the darndest things. They repeat just about everything they hear. They will make statements that they have no indication of what it means. Tolerance is such a hard thing to teach in this age and time. A lot of the blogs I read each day are written from a Christian perspective. I am not really a religious person, but that does not mean that I do not try and live my life by the golden rule. I teach my children to treat others as you would like to be treated. I teach them that being kind to others even when they are not kind to you is one of the ways you can make a difference in their life. By just offering kindness to someone who isn't being kind to you might turn their day around. I am not perfect in practice of this theory, we all have our bad days. All men were created equal, with certain unalienable rights. The founding words of our country. I do not care if you are white, black, Asian, gay, straight, Christian, Muslim, Jewish or disabled. Each person has a right to live their life in a way that makes them happy. If their lifestyle does not impede on my ability to live my daily life then why should I pass judgement on them. There are good people and there are bad people who belong to EVERY sector of the population. Just because someone belongs to a group because of skin color or orientation does not make them good or bad. Each individual should be "judged"(and I hate to use that word, but you do form an opinion about people you meet, let's face it we are human)on their on merits as an individual. You cannot lump people together, for true tolerance everyone has to be accepted on their on merit, you can't really say, hey this group is ok, but then stereotype another segment. For our world to truly change with each generation we need to teach our children about tolerance across the board. To take every human being and look at the individual and not decide how we feel about them based on any "group" they may belong to. We can change the prejudices in this world a little bit at a time through each generation.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tuesday - Gratitude

The last two days I have been very frustrated.  We had a really bad storm and it knocked out our internet at work.  I waited for the repairman for five hours and he never showed up.  It burned me up like you wouldn't believe.  I was stuck at work, unable to work because our server was configured to go down with the internet.....UGH, so I couldn't reach my files to do anything.  Well I have a secret weapon.  I have a wonderful brother who, no matter what he is doing, finds a little time to solve my IT problems.  He has set up our network, he has reconfigured everything so we could work in an emergency, and he does it all from two hours away.   I was so frustrated that I can't even put it in to words.  I hate when I make myself that way.  I stress myself out more than I should in some situations.  He was very calm (as was my husband by day two).  We just delt with the cards we were delt and rolled with it.  Well they did, I didn't.  Finally at 2pm today it was fixed.  I felt great relief, but then I felt bad because I stressed myself out so much about it.  I am thankful that those around me are sometimes calm and cool.  Usually that is me, but not the past two days.  Thanks to my brother, everything is now back to normal :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Monday - Menu Plan Monday

First of all I have to review some of the new recipes I made last week:
Pepperoni Pizza Pot Pie - It was so easy and they all loved it.  Next time I will make it with Ham and Pineapple and make another one with Chicken and Alfredo.  It was a big hit!

French Fried Onion Chicken - Kids loved it, hubby thought it was ok.  I used too many bread crumbs (I increased the recipe by 1/2 but the bread crumbs by 1, whoops), everyone loved the Shoepeg Corn.  It was gone in seconds.

Here is the plan for this week:

French Toast Sticks
Hot or Cold Cereal
Waffles with Fresh Fruit

Monday: Lasagna, Salad and Texas Toast

Tuesday: Impossibly Easy BTL Pie

Wednesday: Crock Pot Beef and Peppers (You can purchase this from Mega Menu-Mailer Recipe 5 — Assembly GuidelinesVolume 1 at

Thursday: Paprika Chicken with Sour Cream Sauce

Friday:  Emerilized Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy and Roast Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Saturday:  Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Dinner

Sunday:  Tuna Noodle Casserole

Saturday - Family Fun

We had planned to try and go to Six Flags this weekend with my niece, but weather put a damper on that one.  There are some severe storms in our area so we kind of stayed homebound.

Now I decided to go out shopping.  I also had to stand in line for about an hour to exchange a game system for one of the kids.  I hate to go shopping on Saturday because everyone else goes shopping on Saturday.  My son decided to tell me that I should just go ahead and do it today while I am out instead of wasting my time duirng the week, boy was he off.  Magicallly when I showed back up with the game system he disappeared.....

My time at the grocery store was much better.  It is normally covered up but I guess the rain kept everyone at home.  I did my shopping and returned home (only to return a few mintues later to get something we didn't know we needed).  We decided to make homemade wings.  It was great.  We were all in the same room talking, having fun while making our dinner.  Because everyone goes in different directions we seldomly get to do that.  It was very nice.  We had a great time and made some wonderful food.

Family fun can be just spending time together.  I am thankful I get to spend time with the wonderful people I call my family.

Friday - Taking time for myself

This Friday my husband and I decided to take the day off.  Well we didn't.  We worked part of the morning and into the afternoon, but I did so in my pjs.  It was a nice change of pace. 

You can't always take a day off from work to make yourself feel better, but taking a bit of time each day for yourself can go along way.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thursday - Site of the Week

Last week I shared my favorite site. It is the one that started this ADHD mom on the road to clutter recovery. I will let you know when I am
This week I want to share a relatively new find that has really helped me. Flylady has always talked about menu planning, she has partnered with LeAnn Ely from Saving Dinner and they have been trying to help us plan. I bought a couple of books and had tons of recipes books but I just want to jazzed up about some of these receipes. For my birthday I got an ipad. (It is mostly for work but it helps me in so many ways I can't even tell you). I discovered pod casts. Oh my! There is so much information out there you can just go on overload. I was trying to plan meals for my family and I came across a podcast called Meal Makeover Moms. I find if I can't sleep I can listen to a podcast and just kind of drift off. This episode caught my attention and I couldn't just fall asleep. It was episode 99, and it featured Laura from She had Meal Plan Monday. But what I thought was so great about her Meal Plan Monday was that she let you link to all of these other blogs with their menu plan. Each week over 200 people post their menu plans for the week. Well I was in heaven, I was seeing what other families would plan. The biggest hurdle I have always had was getting side items to go with my meals. I loved how everyone shared. It made my menu planning so much easier.

Her site is not just about meal planning. And I have to say it is one of my favorite blogs. She gives great tips and she has a new book out. I have downloaded the preview on my kindle but I haven't had time to read the entire book so I haven't downloaded the rest. She has products that she sells that are all aimed at helping you get your life organized. She just revamped her site and it looks great. If you need some organizational help, please go visit her.
Organizing Junkie

Wednesday - Whatever Wednesday

Well I was going to write about Kids say the darnedest things, but my kids aren't cooperating with me with funny stories.  Right now I am fighting with one to get them up and ready for school.  For an elementary student getting on a bus at 7:30 is really early.  So every five minutes I pass her room and say "Get up" to which I hear a response of "I'm up", but you know as well as I do, she isn't.

My daughter has abilities, not disabilities.  It has been a really hard road for her this past year.  She has done so much better than I had expected given what we were dealing with this time last year.  This and other things brought up a discussion with a friend of mine who is a teacher.  My daughter receives special education services,  alot of kids do.  There is so much stigma that the kids place on it but I hope one day that they will just understand that they are the same, they just need help in some areas that come easy to "normal" kids.  Who is to say what is normal anyway?  I went to college and ended up getting a degree in Special Education.  You would think that it would have helped me on my journey through the diagnosis process with my daughter, but it probably made it worse.  I knew I could help her, but we could never pin down what was wrong.  We went to two centers for evaluation (both of them got it wrong), four different psychiatrist, neurologists, therapists and finally a hospital.  Ten years into our journey we finally figured out what made my daughter tick.  Now I would love to tell you that it is all roses and wonderful now, but I won't.  She still has her days, but you know what, now it is like a day that any parent would have with a ten year old child about to transition to middle school.  I am very proud of her and everything she has accomplished.  Just as I am proud of all of my children.  They are all special in their own way, and each one of them brings something different to our family.  I am plotting way for my children to better understand that people with disabilities are not crazy or lazy or strange.  I want them to understand tolerance for everyone.  We must change the world one child at a time as teachers, we must also do the same as parents.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tuesday - Gratitude

Our life over the past few years has been made up more of challenges than plain old happiness.  We have had several business struggles and struggles with our child who I now term as having "abilities".
I could have had a completely different life now, but I made choices that were right for me and my family.  This economy has been really trying on small business owners all across the country.  We live in a state with a high rate of bank failures so it seems to affected us more than others.  Sometimes when I think about all of the things that we have been through over the past five years I can't believe I am even still married or sane.

We are still going through difficult financial times (I mean really who isn't right now), but it is getting much better.  And I guess the point is that as long as there is progress made it can be worked out. 

So I am grateful, for so many things.  One, I have a wonderful husband who I can absolutely depend on.  Two, I have two children by birth and two bonus kids that I love with all of my heart.  Three, we have a business and I can take care of my family (and that has been important in the past) in a way that I couldn't if I was holding a full time job. 

I am also thankful that I started reading blogs.  They have helped me keep grounded, realizing there are others out there just like me.  They have helped me save my family money.  They have helped me organize parts of my life and they have provided a great outlet for me to enjoy.

So I am grateful for the simple things.  Shouldn't we all be?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday- Menu Plan Monday

My menu planning software starts my plans on Sunday.  I have placed it at the end of the week even though it is what we had for dinner yesterday.  I have revised the settings and now my week starts on Monday. I can honestly tell you that I almost never make everything that is on my meal plan.  We usually eat take out or delivery once a week.  We own our own business and sometimes it is hard to stay with the plan.  Now we try (just like everyone else) to anticipate our busy week ahead, but, it is after all, just a plan.

Some of the things I am trying for the first time.  My kids have asked for the Tater Tot Caserole since my mother visited last year and made it for them.  It is something I never thought they would like, but they do. 
There are three new things on the menu, the Onion Chicken (we coat chicken in all kinds of things, why not onions), the Reuben Pot Pie and the Hummus Chicken.  They do not seem too difficult so I am confident that I will be able to handle them.

The Crustless Quiche is one that I got in an email a while ago.  I could not find it on her website, but I love this recipe.  You can change it around so many ways.  I have one of LeAnn's cookbooks and I do not use it alot because my family will not eat most of them (they are REALLY picky) but she has wonderful ideas.  I have bought more of her ecook books (freezer meals) and they like those.

If you try any of these, please let me know how they turned out for you.

Crustless No Recipe Quiche
Pepperoni Pizza Pot Pie

Cinnamon rolls
Shoepeg Corn Casserole (family recipe)

Beef Roast with Sweet Potatoes


Cream of wheat
Tater Tot Casserole (family recipe)

Strawberry Breakfast Banana Split (Biggest Loser Family Cookbook)
Spinach Surprise


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Saturday - Family Fun

If you have looked at this blog then you will know that we are a blended family.  This means that some weekends we have our kids and other weekends we do not.  Our four kids are on the same visitation schedule (for the most part) so we have several days a week that we are all together and then there are days where it is just the two of us.  So this weekend is one of those time where it is just the two of us. So our family fun this weekend consists of making some steaks that we picked up on sale last weekend at Sam's (time to turn on the grill), we have a koi pond in our back yard so tomorrow we are going to have to replace the pump and clean it out so our fish do not die. 

We are also going to try and take our cameras out and catch some of the wonderful spring pictures around town.  I have been menu planning and plan to hit the grocery store tomorrow to get the first part of my shopping done for the week.  My husband and I enjoy going out for the day doing the mundane things of life.  We find it fun! So although this is family fun day on the blog, we enjoying the simple pleasures of life.  I hope you enjoy your Saturday too.

Here is a shot of our pond. 

Friday-Taking care of me!

Well, it is Saturday morning. I thought about what to write in my blog all day yesterday, but came up with nothing. My husband invited me to lunch (which was at our favorite place and a nice way to spend part of our afternoon) and then I ran some errands and came back home to send my ladies off with their dad.

I had bought a bottle of wine a couple of days ago, but haven't opened it. I have been so tired so I was afraid that I would fall asleep, so I didn't bother. But last night I decided to have a glass, sit on the couch and enjoy watching some t.v with my hubby. We watched a bit of the Odd Couple movie with Jack Lemmon, then we switched to Fringe. Now I know this doesn't sound like I did a lot to take care of me, but I got to just relax and not think about anything. Sometimes that is the best thing.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thursday - Featured Site

Well I have been blogging for four whole days now.  (Again).  I am holding myself accountable for taking time for myself.  As moms we are often the last one to get any kind of time devoted to us.  We honestly have to TAKE time.  My husband is on me all the time to just do something for myself.  He enjoys the xbox and sometimes I play with him (I LOVE Rock Band) but otherwise I enjoy playing on my computer or my ipad.  I am excited that spring is coming so I can hopefully start getting outside a bit.  I am not an outside person but I am going to try and change that a little this year.

Over the years I have been going to one site that has impacted my life more than any other.  Now I am not where I should be but this website is about progress not perfection.  It is  Now most of america has heard of her by now, but if you haven't you should really visit.  It started with a shiny sink and now she is teaching american women (and men) how to get control of your house without it controling you.  It is called Finally Loving Yourself.  ****(Pardon me, I am reminded that she is WORLD WIDE)*****This blog is a way that I am finally loving myself.  I take a few mintues in the day to jot down what I am thinking and things I think other people would like to hear.

Flylady wants us to feel peace in our lives.  They have great resources on this website.  They also have weekly radio shows on blogtalk radio.  She has videos availble on iTunes Podcasts and she is on Facebook.  I personally love the facebook page the most.  I really get to connect with others who are struggling everyday just like me. 

They have also partnered with to provide a free online organizer with shopping lists and todo lists.  I have always use google calendars but I use both of them now with my family to help them keep up with chores and groceries that they would like me to pick up at the store. 

She has so many wonderful tools and a wonderful crew who helps her.  Please check out her site and see what it can do for you!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wednesday - Kids say the darndest things.....

Well I wanted to say, oh my kids say such funny things I just have to share. Well my daughter did say something funny the other day, but it is such an inside joke that I am sure no one else would get it. Now my kids are unintentionally funny, but to bring it here might not be the best idea.

So we are standing at an abyss.......Teenage years... We have one official one, one turning 13 in just a matter of weeks and two preteens....we have our hands full.

And it has now hit. With three in middle school things have been getting more demanding. We have two in the same grade and magically one has homework and the other one never does. We have projects that are mysteriously not due until TOMORROW, and then as all good parents know, we are left holding the bag. So I am resolute. These kids will not drive ME crazy. We are holding them accountable for their work. This is the time that we realize what we did to our parents. We want to call them up and apologize for every bad thing that we did when we were young, but you know we aren't going to because we would have to admit it.

My daughter thought that we kicked everyone out of our tv room last night because she said something....something so irrelevant that I do not even remember what it was. They think they have so much power sometimes, that we hinge on every word they say......with four you just can' would take too much time.

So to all the moms and dads out there entering these trying years, just know we are right there with you.

Now I am going back to Facebook to check out the OMG Iso need a glass of wine or I'm gonna sell my kids page, as I enjoy a glass of merlot!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tuesday - Random Act of Kindness

Today is Tuesday, where I will focus on either things I am grateful for or Random acts of kindness.  Yesterday I was driving into my neighborhood and I saw a mother pushing an umbrella stroller with at least five grocery bags hooked on to the stroller.  We live in a nice neighborhood, which is located very close to a grocery store.  It is not uncommon to see people from the neighborhood go to the store and walk back but this did not seem like a walk for pleasure, it was a walk of necessity.  So I pulled over and offered her a ride.  Now, please understand, if my children would have been with me I would not have done it.  The chances of this person being violent with a small baby were minimal and she was walking into my neighborhood where there is no other entrance.  I have to stress, safety is very important and looking back on it, sometimes you can't always help out in a situation even if you want to.  This time I took the chance.  I dropped her off at her house (about a mile away) and then I went home.  Long ago this was not uncommon, and you would know your neighbors.  Our world has gotten so drawn up into fear that you really do fear your neighbors. 

A couple of years ago our next door neighbor died.  Now my husband knew her because he had lived here longer than I had,  but I only saw her once.  She died and we barely noticed the lack of activity at her home.  She had been sick for a while and there was very little activity at her home for a while.  I had to wonder, what if I had shown a little more kindness and gone over to see her and check on her.  Turns out her family was out of town and they had to sell her house from a couple of states away.  It just makes you think, what happened to being neighborly.  I don't remember when it changed.  It is definately not the same world I grew up in as a child.  We knew everyone that lived within four to five houses of us on either side.  Now I know a handful of my neighbors, and I have lived in the same neighborhood for over ten years.

I am going to challenge myself to at least wave to my neighbors when I see them walking and maybe I will try to reach out to a neighbor just to say hi.  What about you?  Are you close to others in your neighborhood?  Or do you exsist in your own little world?  I know we do, we have so much going on in our own family that it is hard to find time for people outside our smalll circle.  Maybe that should change........

Monday, March 14, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Menu Plan Monday

Now this is a PLAN!, not in stone, it is my hopes that my first week back really planning meals it will work out.  But we have illness in the house so it might change depending on how everyone is feeling whether these items will hold or whether we hit the soups. 

Sausage Balls
BBQ Ribs
baked beans

Bacon, Egg and
Cheese Breakfast
Mashed Potatoes
Green Bean

Hot Or cold

Chicken Minis

Breakfast (no kids at home)

Hot Or cold
and Peppers

Happy Cooking!

Starting Fresh

Well this is my new blog.  I have wanted to blog for a while and I tried last year but nothing came of it.  Then I decided that I needed a menu.  A direction to go in.  I checked out a new site called House Honcho and she had specific things that she writes about each day.  I thought finally, I will do the same.  One of the things that I have found is that I need to take time for myself.  Now, my life has changed drastically over the past few years (and you will get to know more about that later) and I have always been of the martyr mentality.  Now what that means is that, I didn't mean to be a martyr but somehow I gave so much of myself to everyone else I had nothing left for me and when I didn't have something to do for others I often found that I didn't know what to do with myself when I did have "down" time.  It has been a constant struggle to find a balance in my life between work, home and family.  Now I don't think I have found it yet, but each day I think I get closer to it.  There are some things in my life that I want to change and I think, maybe, this blog might help me.

So here is my menu so far:
Monday - Meal Plan Monday
Tuesday - Gratitude / Random Acts of Kindness
Wednesday - Kids say the Darndest Things
Thursday - Featured site of the Week
Friday - Taking Care of Me
Saturday - Family Fun
Sunday - Whatever I feel like writing about!

Well.....there it is, yet one more attempt for me to start fresh.  My goal is to stick with this each day.  To take a few minutes each morning before my family rises to devote to this blog.

I hope you will follow!